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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at getting the firefly 211 http://www.lights-alive.com/ctrl_firefly_211.html this year. I have 2 questions:

1. What kind of lighting to use. I am trying to decide what kind of lights to use. I have heard that the white LEDs are the best but they are out of my budget. I am considering using halogen http://www.hauntedprops.com/product-p/halogen light.htm or photo floods. I have heard that people get photographers flash bulbs (photo floods) and use those effectively. Does anyone have experience with these and can provide any suggestions or pros or cons?

2. What kind lightning soundtrack to use. I am looking for a soundtrack for an approaching storm. It can include wind but would prefer no rain. I am hoping to make it sound like a storm is off in the distance and getting closer. I am not looking for a full out storm. It would drown out the other sound effects and music in my yard haunt.

Thanks for your help
 

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I use a mixture of incandescent floods and halogens. I think you'll be happy with those. I believe you'll get some soundtracks with the firefly though I'm not sure exactly what they are. You could edit the volume of the soundtrack to create the effect you want.
 

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I have some lower cost lightning controllers I bought a few years ago and used halogen bulbs. They're not bad and will provide a decent affect, but I remember the glow being slightly off-white.

Regarding the audio, check online (youtube and freesound). Like J-man said, I think you'll get a disc with an audio track. I didn't like the one that came with mine so I mixed something up using sources from freesound. The lights are triggered by the amplitude of the input audio signal, so you won't want a lot of wind on the same track as it could make the lights slightly flicker. I used audacity on the Mac and put the wind on one channel and then just the lightning/storm effect on another channel. And that channel was then fed into the lightning controller.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Evil eye and Jman, Thanks for the info. It is very helpful. It sounds like the Halogens will work. Does anyone else have experience with the photo bulbs and Halogens to recommend one over the other? It sounds like there are a lot of audio options if I want to mix it myself. Does anyone have any premixed Cds or traks they would recommend? Does anyone have the firefly and can comment on the cd that comes with the unit?

Thanks again for all the info
 

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Check out what I did. It might give you some ideas.
If you've got any questions, fire me an email.
 

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If you get the 211, it does come with a sound track CD which should take care of your needs. You'd just want an audio player like an MP3 player or CD player that can be put on a loop.

As far as the lighting goes, halogen will work. Though in my experience they tend to be a bit too yellow. Lightning is a cooler white somewhere in the 5K color temperature range and looks more blue. I actually picked up some LED flood lights at Home Depot for relatively inexpensive which are the right color and should in theory last pretty much forever. If you would want to go LED another option could be Ebay, I've found a lot of cool white LED spots there also for fairly cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rev Noch...Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me if you used the LED floods from Home Depot with a lightning machine? If so, what brand a light did you purchase and what type of lightning machine did you use? I had read that most standard LED spots and floods don't work with lightning machines due to the delay from when you turn them on and the light comes on. If you have found one that works that would be great!

Thanks
 

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I've used my LED spots with a firefly 301 and an izombie sc-1201. I'd have to dig up what kind they were I'm not sure off the top of my head. Though I have used a couple of random different kinds and haven't had any of the issues described. The LED's I've used have been extremely snappy with their response. I suppose that if that's a concern, maybe start with one inexpensive one and give it a test before committing to multiple lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to all who replied. I appreciate the advice. I will try some of the dimable led floods from Home Depot and compare them to the halogen work lights and post the results. If the led floods will work it will consume far less power.

Thanks again.
 

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Sounds perfect, I've found that what people like out of their lightning can be a bit subjective. Trying a few things in a smaller scale to see what you personally like is probably the best advice I can give.
 

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If I can tag onto Fool's thread - we're hoping to get the FireFly 301 Package (http://www.lights-alive.com/package.html) - it comes with the lights, but what I'm concerned (for lack of a better term) about is the audio. How do others set up their audio/speakers? The lights seem to be pretty self explanatory with the package.
 

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Audio isn't too bad. I've just hooked it up to a standard home stereo system in the past using just a minijack to RCA cable. I then used just some big home speakers for the audio. I've now switched to using a couple of Mackie Thump PA speakers with XLR cables connecting them. You'll likely want some Bass....
 

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Audio isn't too bad. I've just hooked it up to a standard home stereo system in the past using just a minijack to RCA cable. I then used just some big home speakers for the audio. I've now switched to using a couple of Mackie Thump PA speakers with XLR cables connecting them. You'll likely want some Bass....
Do you put speakers in the yard or just out of one or two windows?
 

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Short answer, out in the yard. Though I'd think either way would be fine. Longer answer, I hide one of the speakers in my Mausoleum, the other I put in an out of the weather hiding spot on the 31st.
 

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Thanks! I've wanted this for years now and we finally had the dough for it....them gge water heater blew. Stupid need for hot water!
 

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As with any prop, the sound system can make or break the whole effect. Go with the biggest speakers/amplifier you have or can afford. Having the speakers outdoors is usually not a problem so long as it's not raining. You'll want to bring them in every night anyway which is pretty simple.
 
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